Envisage Equity invests in Marucci

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- Marucci Sports, which got its start making bats, has expanded into batting gloves, equipment bags and backpacks. Uniforms, sliding shorts and practice tops and the outdoor/hunting clothing market are in its plans. Show caption
Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- Marucci Sports, which got its start making bats, has expanded into batting gloves, equipment bags and backpacks. Uniforms, sliding shorts and practice tops and the outdoor/hunting clothing market are in its plans.

Bat producer turns focus to growth

Envisage Equity LLC, which invests in middle market companies with big expansion plans, has invested an undisclosed amount in Baton Rouge-based Marucci Sports LLC, according to R2F Investment Bankers LLC.

R2F acted as a strategic adviser to Envisage on the investment in the bat and equipment maker.

Envisage takes both control and non-control positions in companies with roughly $3 million in earnings before income tax, depreciation and amortization, a measure of a company’s profitability.

The investment is the latest step in Marucci’s ambitious growth plan. In April, the company announced that co-founder Kurt Ainsworth had been named chief executive officer. He has laid out a blueprint for the company to double in size in the next two years and eventually become No. 1 in every product line for baseball.

Marucci, which made its reputation by providing high-quality wooden bats to Major League Baseball players, also announced plans to move into apparel with uniforms, sliding shorts and practice tops, and into the outdoor/hunting clothing market.

The privately held company’s growth has been financed, until now, from sales of its products and investments from a number of current and former professional baseball players.

To aid its growth strategy, Marucci added five new independent directors to its board: Ben Bordelon, chief operating officer of Bollinger Shipyards; Jim Burke, CEO of TXU Energy; Willie Robertson, CEO of Duck Commander; Jose Bautista, All-Star outfielder for the Toronto Blue Jays; and Ryan Stromsborg, co-founder and managing partner of Parq Advisors.